A luxe tower on Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz
303 Rooms / 40 Suites / 1 Apartment
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin’s 230-foot-tall sandstone building has been a major part of Potsdamer Platz’s post-reunification skyline since it opened in 2004. Though relatively unassuming from the outside, the interior is every bit as glamorous as you would expect from this established luxury brand, from the smiling, top-hatted doorman who whisks your bags to the reception desk before you’re out of the taxi, to the marble columns, double staircase and baroque chandeliers of the lavish lobby.
The sumptuous rooms combine an Old Europe feel with slick modern conveniences, and the hotel’s amenities span a sophisticated yet relaxed brasserie and two refined bars. Staff is immaculately groomed and professionally trained, and everyone from business guests to families are taken good care of.
With big-hitter sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and the Reichstag a short stroll away, and the vast, leafy Tiergarten right next door, you couldn’t wish for a better location. The Kulturforum – an ensemble of museums built to rival the Museum Island in the former East – is around the corner and includes the highly regarded Gemäldegalerie (Portrait Gallery).
On the doorstep is the glitzy Sony Center, which hosts the Berlinale each February and the permanent German Film Museum, as well as a few original pieces of the historic Berlin Wall, which used to run right through the area.
The city’s newest and largest shopping center, the Mall of Berlin, can be found on nearby Leipziger Platz, and the sobering Topography of Terror installation, located on the site of the former Gestapo HQ, and the fascinating Checkpoint Charlie museum are also within walking distance.
The 303 guest rooms continue the luxury hotel’s classic feel with calming beige and brown color schemes, hardwood floors and cherrywood cabinets and armoires. Watercolors by acclaimed German artist Markus Lüpertz dot the walls, and the generous marble bathrooms have heated floors and luxurious bathrobes.
Contemporary touches include bedside panels that control everything from room lighting and an electronic “do not disturb” sign to iPod docking stations and flat-screen TVs.
Most rooms have views across Potsdamer Platz or the Tiergarten park, though the upper floors are where you’ll find the larger suites and club rooms (which have access to the 10th-floor Club Lounge).
The luxurious 12th-floor Ritz-Carlton apartment, a whopping 3,100 square feet, offers a fully equipped office, dining room, living room, private elevator and bathroom with a marble bath and a glass shower with an extensive tropical rain panel.
The Potsdamer Platz hotel’s Brasserie Desbrosses is an upscale yet authentically rustic affair that was imported, patterned flagstone by patterned flagstone, from Southern Burgundy. The breakfast spread spans American and continental options, while the lunch and dinner menu offers European classics like bouillabaisse and wiener schnitzel.
The in-house boulangerie serves freshly made breads and croissants that can be taken away, and the Sunday champagne brunch is a feast of oysters and fresh lobster served from live cooking stations.
Finely cut sandwiches and more than 60 curated Mariage Frères teas (served by a certified Tea Master) can be enjoyed in the lobby.
For drinks, the gentleman-club-style Curtain Club — which is ritually opened every evening by a traditional beefeater (a Tower of London guard) — has leather armchairs, live music several days a week and expertly mixed cocktails by talented mixologist Arnd Heissen; the newer Fragrances bar serves drinks based on selected perfumes by renowned manufacturers such as Giorgio Armani and Guerlain.
The interiors of the Berlin hotel were created by Cologne architect Peter Silling. Inspired by the city’s great classicist, Karl Friedrich Schinkel — the renowned architect behind many of Berlin’s most famous buildings, including the Konzerthaus and Unter den Linden’s Neue Wache — Silling is responsible for the hotel’s nostalgic German imperial style. The bronze, marbles and antiques create an impression of opulent refinement.